Candy apple red, green and blue glory
What hath Hank wrought?
Second note of automotive interest: Last weekend they rolled into town for the annual Comox Valley Rod Run, and accompanying ‘Show-and-Shine’. They were there some 350 strong these machines coming from all over BC and the Pacific Northwest. And, I must confess, they were magnificent in all their candy-apple red, green, and blueness. They were all chrome and glistening and a body could eat off the manicured engine blocks.
They were worth thousands and thousands of dollars, these labours of love and often years and years of painstaking work. Love of the automobile in its utter glory. Alloy wheels and the deep rump-rump of hugely overpowered and over-gas-guzzling bits of machinery led the vehicles past a huge crowd that was, to say the least, enchanted.
When I was growing up I, like others of my generation, wanted a hotrod. I never got one. I couldn’t afford one. I could only afford ancient beaters that burned a Kuwaiti oil well’s worth of reconditioned black muck every day, and emitted such clouds of smoke that even the burghers of Beijing would be appalled and order me to get that ’59 Fairlane off the road. There was a Fairlane at the show – a blue and white one, just like mine was – and it was immaculate and it was worth about 40 thousand in its immaculately restored skin. Damn!
When I was 18 I went to spend a few weeks with a best buddy in Santa Clara, CA. We would ride into the main drag of San Jose every evening and just cruise, and ogle the California Dreamin’ machinery that was also cruising. We’d ogle the cars and the babes and maybe also look for a platinum blonde in a T-Bird who might just mouth ‘I love you,’ just like American Graffiti. Never happened, so we’d go back to pondering the cars and dreaming dreams that would never be fulfilled.
We are told we must end our love affair with the car. We must divorce. We must ride bicycles, use public transit, and at the very least acquire costly and underpowered hybrids. Don’t bother waxing nostalgic about Little Deuce Coupes, 409s, and having fun-fun-fun in T-Birds. Daddy ain’t takin’ it away, circumstances are.
Meanwhile, we are expected to be grownups about this. It’s like quitting smoking. After the first few weeks we won’t even notice when we are forced to give up our cars.
After viewing the crowds in town last weekend, I have my doubts that it will be such an easy sell.